The music brings us together or pulls us apart

By Monique Salez

My dad/Pops just returned from his yearly pilgrimage to the south of France where he was born and raised. He visits family and friends but the main event is driving the winding south central foothills of the Pyrenees to attend dances – over 45 in two months. Pops is 74 and adores partner dancing for the human connection, the exercise and creative expression. Pops believes this dance culture will eventually fade away due in part to the surge of disco that moved the young people into city venues where they danced independently.

In Victoria where we have a diversity of partner dance from Swing to Ballroom to Latin it is music that is bringing a new vitality to partner dancing in Victoria. With its roots in Angola, Kizomba, both the dance and music, is a slow, sensual groove with a steady and at times intense rhythm. Sometimes described as African tango for the fusion of footwork and lower leg actions reminiscent of Argentinian tango coupled with hips and torso expressing hyper isolative movements and unapologetic sensual expression, Kizomba is often characterized by onlookers whistling and hooting their encouragement. With over four years in Victoria, Kizomba is surging and Bernard Henin of Salsa Moderna has been one of the local teachers who has been travelling the world to learn this style to add to his latin repetoire. Henin observes that “the music is more appealing and relatable to the younger generation” and believes this is why he is seeing an increasing number of men learning the moves. So those looking ahead to a dance filled New Year’s check out Kizomba classes at latinvictoria.ca or Dec. 28th join the Kizomba Social at The Martin Bachelor Gallery at 7:15 p.m. As for Pops, he won’t be adding Kizomba to his repertoire anytime soon and anyways he has already booked his ticket back to France for New Years to a live band with over 400 dancing guests.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Most Read